PHARMACY

Report: N.Y. senator proposes tougher penalties for pharmacy crime

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — A senator from New York is proposing new regulations that would protect pharmacies from robberies, according to published reports.

The Associated Press reported that Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., proposed stronger penalties and better security measures so that pharmacies could protect their drugs, following a pharmacy robbery on Long Island that resulted in the death of an off-duty federal agent.

Under the plan, the Drug Enforcement Agency would issue guidelines that would include installing silent alarms, timed safes and bulletproof glass, as well as sharing of pharmacy crime data between the DEA and local police. Theft from drug stores would be punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment.


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Biogen Idec, Isis to develop spinal muscular atrophy drug

BY Alaric DeArment

WESTON, Mass. — Biogen Idec and Isis Pharmaceuticals will work together on a drug invented by Isis for spinal muscular atrophy, the two companies said.

According to the companies, SMA is the most common genetic cause of infant mortality and causes muscle atrophy and weakness, occurring in 1-in-10,000 births. While children with the condition appear normal at birth, symptoms can develop within a few months and significantly shorten their lifespan. The drug, ISIS-SMNRx, is designed to compensate for the underlying genetic defect that causes SMA.

Under the agreement, Biogen Idec will pay Isis $29 million upfront, plus up to $45 million in milestone payments. In addition, Biogen Idec will have the option to license the drug until the completion of the first successful phase-2/3 trial, while Isis could receive up to $225 million in license fee and regulatory milestone payments, as well as royalties on potential sales.


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Medtronic launches remote glucose-monitoring system

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Medtronic has launched a blood-glucose monitor that allows remote monitoring of blood-glucose levels, the company said.

The Minneapolis-based device maker announced the Food and Drug Administration approval and launch of the mySentry remote glucose monitor, which allows a parent or caregiver to monitor a patient’s blood-sugar levels from another room by communicating with the MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time Revel glucose-monitoring system.

The new device allows caregivers to see real-time insulin pump status and glucose trends and hear alerts while an adult or child with diabetes sleeps in another room. For example, if a child’s glucose levels are falling in the middle of the night, an alarm will allow them to take action. According to one study, about 75% of all episodes of abnormally low blood sugar in children, also known as hypoglycemia, occur at night.

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